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Someone mentioned in a post the other day that they thought that it was getting close to metal flinging time in the Straits of Hormuz, and I mentioned that I thought that the easiest way for DT to get the oil price up was to pull the carriers back and allow Iran to close the straits - and now DT has decided to prod things a bit via twitter (of course)...

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Oil-Jumps-After-Trump-Orders-Navy-To-Shoot-And-Destroy-Iranian-Gunboats.html

It will be interesting to see how Iran responds to this... if it turns into an all-out metal flinging match in the Arabian Sea then god help everyone...

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39 minutes ago, RSD said:

...

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Oil-Jumps-After-Trump-Orders-Navy-To-Shoot-And-Destroy-Iranian-Gunboats.html

It will be interesting to see how Iran responds to this... if it turns into an all-out metal flinging match in the Arabian Sea then god help everyone...

Seems unlikely this will turn into a war.  More like swatting buzzing mosqitoes.

Just Trump calling the bluff of an antsy Iran, who are trying to stay relevant.

@TomTom your thoughts, since you know more about this?

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I certainly hope it doesn't - a lot of lives would be lost on both sides and neither side would win.

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On 4/23/2020 at 5:49 AM, RSD said:

I certainly hope it doesn't - a lot of lives would be lost on both sides and neither side would win.

The US and Russia would win - which is why I'm surprised it hasn't happened already. 

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16 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

The US and Russia would win - which is why I'm surprised it hasn't happened already. 

It depends on how you define winning - and losing...

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4 hours ago, RSD said:

It depends on how you define winning - and losing...

It seems to me the US and Russia would gain oil market share, enjoy increased oil prices, and export weapons to the Middle East.  In the end, all of the Middle East's wealth would be returned to the US and Russia, they would no longer be spending money policing the region, and their oil industries would be booming.

Doesn't seem to me like there's much to lose in this scenario. 

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Russia would probably benefit the most.

All the oil importers in Asia would get impacted the most (they are exposed most to oil/NG coming out of the straight of hormuz), which would most likely help spur inflation in the US.

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When Trump assassinated that Iranian General they vowed revenge, and said the revenge would be complete when the US is forced to remove it's military from the middle east.  there was a series of provocations escalations and direct attacks on US bases. The last detailed in this report was on March 13th,  shortly before the war of cheap oil got started.  At that point Iran stopped the provocations, they can't sell much oil anyways, now they are sitting back with popcorn and watching Saudi Arabia fall apart.

 

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21 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

It seems to me the US and Russia would gain oil market share, enjoy increased oil prices, and export weapons to the Middle East.  In the end, all of the Middle East's wealth would be returned to the US and Russia, they would no longer be spending money policing the region, and their oil industries would be booming.

Doesn't seem to me like there's much to lose in this scenario. 

It depends on your knowledge of Iran's naval strength and how they can use it -

  • currently the U.S. Navy has two carrier battle groups in the Arabian Sea / Persian Gulf area
  • they would be acutely aware that they are very vulnerable to Iran's swarm missile tactics (launch 700 anti-ship missiles at once and if 5% get through the defences then...)
  • at the moment the U.S. has eight of its eleven carriers available at any one time - but the Roosevelt is effectively out of action due to its COVID-19 outbreak so it is down to seven carriers
  • of those seven carriers, as mentioned two are in the Arabian Sea area, another carrier is always needed in the China Sea area
  • for each carrier deployed another carrier is docked (carriers do six months on/six months off deployments)
  • so if Iran sinks or badly damages the two carriers in the Arabian Sea with a swarm missile strike that leaves one carrier in the China Sea, four carriers currently stateside - but one of those will be needed for the China Sea, so a total of three operational carriers available - how many carriers are you going to send to the Arabian Sea to have a war with Iran and possibly suffer another swarm missile strike?
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8 hours ago, RSD said:

It depends on your knowledge of Iran's naval strength and how they can use it -

  • currently the U.S. Navy has two carrier battle groups in the Arabian Sea / Persian Gulf area
  • they would be acutely aware that they are very vulnerable to Iran's swarm missile tactics (launch 700 anti-ship missiles at once and if 5% get through the defences then...)
  • at the moment the U.S. has eight of its eleven carriers available at any one time - but the Roosevelt is effectively out of action due to its COVID-19 outbreak so it is down to seven carriers
  • of those seven carriers, as mentioned two are in the Arabian Sea area, another carrier is always needed in the China Sea area
  • for each carrier deployed another carrier is docked (carriers do six months on/six months off deployments)
  • so if Iran sinks or badly damages the two carriers in the Arabian Sea with a swarm missile strike that leaves one carrier in the China Sea, four carriers currently stateside - but one of those will be needed for the China Sea, so a total of three operational carriers available - how many carriers are you going to send to the Arabian Sea to have a war with Iran and possibly suffer another swarm missile strike?

A few problems with this:
1) Before you can kill a carrier, you have to find it.  The ocean is large, and the US completely controls both space and air.  How do you propose Iran find carriers that don't want to be found?
2) Carrier groups are only a fraction of what the US can throw at Iran.  To begin with, we have Iran surrounded by military bases.  Beyond that, we have enough strategic bombers to service thousands of targets.  Iran's C3 would be shut down long before they could find and destroy a carrier. 

An attempt to fight the US would be suicide for Iran.  They'd never get close to our strategic assets.  Within a few days, we'd be obliterating any Iranian asset stupid enough to expose itself. 

 

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On 4/27/2020 at 10:31 AM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

It seems to me the US and Russia would gain oil market share, enjoy increased oil prices, and export weapons to the Middle East.  In the end, all of the Middle East's wealth would be returned to the US and Russia, they would no longer be spending money policing the region, and their oil industries would be booming.

Doesn't seem to me like there's much to lose in this scenario. 

Russia loses market share now and is estimated to be cutting irreversibly large chunks of its production, thus will not have operational potential to make use of an opportunity in case of  a gulf war later this year or early 2021, but the US would. The Persian gulf does not go away because there was military action. The oil stays just as cheap to produce and will recover production quickly. Just like it had in Kuwait in the Gulf war. 

When the storage globally is clogged up and most of the oil intensive portion of the US is up and running (not really the big cities), then the US will consume most of its production, China will continue to resume its consumption further, and Russia will continue to be underbid by Saudi at Rotterdam and the Mediterranean.  That as Europe recovers consumption slowly. 

China will continue trying to obtain oil from Russia in preference but will only pay what minimum oer Saudi bid they think is proper. Their tea pot refiners definitely don't prefer Russian oil an will take whatever is cheaper, i,e, Saudi. 

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8 hours ago, RSD said:

It depends on your knowledge of Iran's naval strength and how they can use it -

  • currently the U.S. Navy has two carrier battle groups in the Arabian Sea / Persian Gulf area
  • they would be acutely aware that they are very vulnerable to Iran's swarm missile tactics (launch 700 anti-ship missiles at once and if 5% get through the defences then...)
  • at the moment the U.S. has eight of its eleven carriers available at any one time - but the Roosevelt is effectively out of action due to its COVID-19 outbreak so it is down to seven carriers
  • of those seven carriers, as mentioned two are in the Arabian Sea area, another carrier is always needed in the China Sea area
  • for each carrier deployed another carrier is docked (carriers do six months on/six months off deployments)
  • so if Iran sinks or badly damages the two carriers in the Arabian Sea with a swarm missile strike that leaves one carrier in the China Sea, four carriers currently stateside - but one of those will be needed for the China Sea, so a total of three operational carriers available - how many carriers are you going to send to the Arabian Sea to have a war with Iran and possibly suffer another swarm missile strike?

To add to what @benfranklin'sspectacles said, 

The Roosevelt is unaffected by the CV19 outbreak, having a CV19 infection is not operationally meaningful but to a deranged panic of some. 

Not obvious that any Iranian missiles make it to a target. The concentrated barrage is 90% taken out by 1 or 2 tactical nukes over the ocean. What remain is small enough and spaced at long enough intervals for the normal anti missile batteries on the carriers and on specialized support ships in the battle group. 

The 6 on 6 off deployment is not a law of physics, all of the carriers not under active repair and retrofit can stay at sea on mission. 

The outcome of an Iranian attack is that they lose their airports and sea ports. Their motorized boats of whatever size. And will be dismembered by US cover against Iranian deployment on the ground, thus allowing Kurds on the West and Pashtuns on the east to secede, and the Suni arabs in the south to do the same. They may not have much of a motive to do so now, but if it allows the an escape from the siege of Iran, then that would be plenty motive. For the Sunni Arabs of the gulf oil fields in Iran, it is an opportunity for wealth an exit from Shia suppression (not that it had been that bad). 

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9 hours ago, RSD said:

It depends on your knowledge of Iran's naval strength and how they can use it -

No time for war now. War in the time of epidemic when everybody just wants to secure medical equipment,  cure their citizens and restart their economy is not in interest of any party - so forget about it.

  • currently the U.S. Navy has two carrier battle groups in the Arabian Sea / Persian Gulf area
  • US has 1 carrier in Middle East NOW, the second returned to port
  • they would be acutely aware that they are very vulnerable to Iran's swarm missile tactics (launch 700 anti-ship missiles at once and if 5% get through the defences then...)
  • at the moment the U.S. has eight of its eleven carriers available at any one time - but the Roosevelt is effectively out of action due to its COVID-19 outbreak so it is down to seven carriers
  • NImitz, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Truman are effectively available now
  • of those seven carriers, as mentioned two are in the Arabian Sea area, another carrier is always needed in the China Sea area
  • for each carrier deployed another carrier is docked (carriers do six months on/six months off deployments)
  • so if Iran sinks or badly damages the two carriers in the Arabian Sea (What is the strategic motivation ?with a swarm missile strike that leaves one carrier in the China Sea, four carriers currently stateside - but one of those will be needed for the China Sea, so a total of three operational carriers available - how many carriers are you going to send to the Arabian Sea to have a war with Iran and possibly suffer another swarm missile strike?

 

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2 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

A few problems with this:
1) Before you can kill a carrier, you have to find it.  The ocean is large, and the US completely controls both space and air.  How do you propose Iran find carriers that don't want to be found?
2) Carrier groups are only a fraction of what the US can throw at Iran.  To begin with, we have Iran surrounded by military bases.  Beyond that, we have enough strategic bombers to service thousands of targets.  Iran's C3 would be shut down long before they could find and destroy a carrier. 

1) Iran just launched it's own military satellite, also Russia & China would quietly provide targeting information, and having sailed though the Persian Gulf, there are thousands of fishing boats many of which record everything.  When every US Navy ship moves into the Indian ocean at a safe distance you know we are about to start something.

2) On January 8th 2020 Iran fired enough ballistic missiles at two US military bases in Iraq that it is possible to deduce how accurate those missiles are.  the mean deviance from center mass of the closest building was 11 meters, the maximum deviance was 19.5 meters,  with no ballistic missiles impacting harmlessly off target.  They have smart precise ballistic missiles.  here is the satellite images and analysis to back-up that statement.   This makes all US bases in the region targets we can not defend. 

3)  the Gulf Kingdoms treat the Shia population like servants or slaves, those oppressed people are very ready to rise up, Iran does not need to pay their so call proxies they just need to provide some advisors and some weapons.

  4) Iran is a lot like Switzerland, it is a mountain fortress in the 19th century both the British Empire and the Russian Empire tried to invade at the same time... Iran won, because it is a mountain fortress.     https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/geopolitics-iran-holding-center-mountain-fortress         

5) They have a version of a stinger missile which they could give to groups in Afghanistan and the greater Middle East which would shut down the style of warfare we have employed since Vietnam. 

6) of course the mine the Straits of Hormuz, then all our so called allies in the Gulf implode when they can't export oil and import food. 

7) We end up nuking  Tehran kill millions but we still lose the war.

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On 4/22/2020 at 10:38 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Seems unlikely this will turn into a war.  More like swatting buzzing mosqitoes.

Just Trump calling the bluff of an antsy Iran, who are trying to stay relevant.

@TomTom your thoughts, since you know more about this?

Tom, did you do time in sunny SE Asia(Saigon commandos don't count) or Afghanistan?  The Iranians are smart enough to not fight on our terms . They will use proxies to conduct asymmetric warfare against us elsewhere.   Choke points equally vital are the Suez Canal and Straits of Malacca.   You already have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and various pirate organizations Indonesia and  In  Malaya.  This would be a battle that our troops are neither trained or equipped to fight.  

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Finding a carrier in a sea is pretty easy. Out in the open ocean a bit of a challenge. 

Iran will get it's ass handed to them in any serious confrontation, but one thing the US strives to accept is winning battles has little to do with winning asymetric wars. Our post WW2 record is rather abysmal at achieving the political objective. And helping the folks on the other side of the Gulf isn't exactly advancing our cause. 

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2 hours ago, Gregory Purcell said:

1) Iran just launched it's own military satellite, also Russia & China would quietly provide targeting information, and having sailed though the Persian Gulf, there are thousands of fishing boats many of which record everything.  When every US Navy ship moves into the Indian ocean at a safe distance you know we are about to start something.

2) On January 8th 2020 Iran fired enough ballistic missiles at two US military bases in Iraq that it is possible to deduce how accurate those missiles are.  the mean deviance from center mass of the closest building was 11 meters, the maximum deviance was 19.5 meters,  with no ballistic missiles impacting harmlessly off target.  They have smart precise ballistic missiles.  here is the satellite images and analysis to back-up that statement.   This makes all US bases in the region targets we can not defend. 

3)  the Gulf Kingdoms treat the Shia population like servants or slaves, those oppressed people are very ready to rise up, Iran does not need to pay their so call proxies they just need to provide some advisors and some weapons.

  4) Iran is a lot like Switzerland, it is a mountain fortress in the 19th century both the British Empire and the Russian Empire tried to invade at the same time... Iran won, because it is a mountain fortress.     https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/geopolitics-iran-holding-center-mountain-fortress         

5) They have a version of a stinger missile which they could give to groups in Afghanistan and the greater Middle East which would shut down the style of warfare we have employed since Vietnam. 

6) of course the mine the Straits of Hormuz, then all our so called allies in the Gulf implode when they can't export oil and import food. 

7) We end up nuking  Tehran kill millions but we still lose the war.

Im not sure what to say...It reminds me of the Mother Of All Battles...I cannot help but think back to that time and reflecting on what we all saw with a bit of different conclusion. Speaking for myself only it was a military parade..take your mind back to that time. It took months to setup and deploy...that is war? From there it was the tanks taking a practice run in the desert, yes our gps system did work. In the initial wave all i can think of is a professional football team lining up against a high junior varsity..

I am portraying things in a quite sarcastic way, yet a honest way. Small countries should not be empowered to believe they are on the same footing as the US...and at the same time the US should never involve itself with such country's, just cut bait as they say and move on.

In the end it is the civilians who pay the price and that is tragic beyond comprehension, they should not pay the price for uber childish dictators. As one posted 15th century methods of rule do not work well with modern civilizations it is a very very bad mix.

I can think of one moment when the US went to a higher level of war in Iraq...it since has been named the Road To Baghdad..It is a terrible thing to empower smaller nations to be so aggressive just walk away. Flinging metal with the US never should be encouraged at any level...the citizens pay a heavy price.

5cpmkez91kf21.jpg

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Im not sure what to say...It reminds me of the Mother Of All Battles...I cannot help but think back to that time and reflecting on what we all saw with a bit of different conclusion. Speaking for myself only it was a military parade..take your mind back to that time. It took months to setup and deploy...that is war? From there it was the tanks taking a practice run in the desert, yes our gps system did work. In the initial wave all i can think of is a professional football team lining up against a high junior varsity..

I am portraying things in a quite sarcastic way, yet a honest way. Small countries should not be empowered to believe they are on the same footing as the US...and at the same time the US should never involve itself with such country's, just cut bait as they say and move on.

In the end it is the civilians who pay the price and that is tragic beyond comprehension, they should not pay the price for uber childish dictators. As one posted 15th century methods of rule do not work well with modern civilizations it is a very very bad mix.

I can think of one moment when the US went to a higher level of war in Iraq...it since has been named the Road To Baghdad..It is a terrible thing to empower smaller nations to be so aggressive just walk away. Flinging metal with the US never should be encouraged at any level...the citizens pay a heavy price.

5cpmkez91kf21.jpg

 

1 hour ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Small countries should not be empowered to believe they are on the same footing as the US...and at the same time the US should never involve itself with such country's, just cut bait as they say and move on.

May I remind you of the Peoples Republic of Vietnam. Score was PRV 7 US 0. or next door Afghaniistan vs USSR Score AF 3 USSR 0.   or Afghanistan vs UK  AF 100 UK1.  There was one survivor  of that misbegotten expedition.  UK learned to pay bribes for peace on the frontier.    You need to understand Saddam was stupid beyond all belief.  He fought on our terms.  Did we "win" in Afghanistan or Iraq or Cambodia or Laos either.   You should all of you read The Ugly American.  It will result in fewer star spangled body bags. 

In one vignette, a Burmese journalist says, "For some reason, the [American] people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They are loud and ostentatious."[7

Edited by nsdp

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7 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

A few problems with this:
1) Before you can kill a carrier, you have to find it.  The ocean is large, and the US completely controls both space and air.  How do you propose Iran find carriers that don't want to be found?

The parts of the Strait of Hormuz that are deep enough to take carriers and tankers allow only 2 mile wide inbound and outbound shipping lanes - blind freddy could find carriers while they are paaing through the strait - spitting distance from the Iranian coast and its 350+ fast attack boats each armed with two anti-ship missiles, all of home can fire their missiles while under the protection of coastal SAM missile sites, and they also have truck-mounted anti-ship missiles as well to add to the mix.  The shipping lanes are well inside Iranian waters and pass between Iranian islands and the Iranian coast...
Rich-graphics-talk---Map_desktop-Artboard_1.png

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Seventh Fleet had 15 carriers with 5 on station in the Gulf of Tonkin and accomplished nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Carriers will be effective only if the Iranians play on our terms.  Curtis LeMay said we could bomb the North Vietnamese back to the stone age.   The whiner generals and pilots complaining about restrictions always forget mention(selective memories) that  there were 385,000 Chinese combat engineers repairing roads rails and powerplants north of Hanoi as we bombed them. The whiners didn't learn from dugout Doug what happens when you involve the PLA in military action on the Asian land mass.  More than a few US pilots overflew the PRC and never came home.  Still MIA.

You gotta have a plan that will work. Trump doesn't have a clue much less a plan.  Old men make war, young men die.

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10 hours ago, nsdp said:

Tom, did you do time in sunny SE Asia(Saigon commandos don't count) or Afghanistan?  The Iranians are smart enough to not fight on our terms . They will use proxies to conduct asymmetric warfare against us elsewhere.   Choke points equally vital are the Suez Canal and Straits of Malacca.   You already have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and various pirate organizations Indonesia and  In  Malaya.  This would be a battle that our troops are neither trained or equipped to fight.  

Malaysia for almost 20 years.  But I've traveled to quite a number of countries in Asia over the years on business.

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11 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

I can think of one moment when the US went to a higher level of war in Iraq...it since has been named the Road To Baghdad..It is a terrible thing to empower smaller nations to be so aggressive just walk away. Flinging metal with the US never should be encouraged at any level...the citizens pay a heavy price.

I traveled down the road of death about a year after that photo was taken the fifty some miles from Kuwait City to the Iraqi border that level of carnage stretched pretty much the entire fifty miles.  The Net result of that war and the 30 years of sanctions more war and occupation of Iraq; is we turned Iran's biggest enemy into a people united with Iran against the US.  And we wasted trillions of dollars.    

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2 hours ago, Gregory Purcell said:

I traveled down the road of death about a year after that photo was taken the fifty some miles from Kuwait City to the Iraqi border that level of carnage stretched pretty much the entire fifty miles.  The Net result of that war and the 30 years of sanctions more war and occupation of Iraq; is we turned Iran's biggest enemy into a people united with Iran against the US.  And we wasted trillions of dollars.    

Then you know first hand the insanity of war, and perhaps fully illustrate the point of its abject madness. To embolden either side is in itself madness.

I am beginning to believe this oil meltdown will have a very positive effect on this world as a whole. No money no conflicts...no war. 

 

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9 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Malaysia for almost 20 years.  But I've traveled to quite a number of countries in Asia over the years on business.

Tom , how much time outside the big cities where the real people live with carts pulled by water buffalo or elephants?  If you stay in the big cities, that is like staying in New York and saying you understand the United States.   Read the Ugly American and you will begin to to understand why some of the pronouncements here are the most misbegotten polemics around.  I have written the Last Letter to parents of a young man from Apache County Arizona and another to the wife with  3 month old little girl( who never knew her daddy) in South Philadelphia.  I say the cheerleaders who crave military action should be loaded up and be the first ones out the door  in Injun Country.

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9 hours ago, Gregory Purcell said:

I traveled down the road of death about a year after that photo was taken the fifty some miles from Kuwait City to the Iraqi border that level of carnage stretched pretty much the entire fifty miles.  The Net result of that war and the 30 years of sanctions more war and occupation of Iraq; is we turned Iran's biggest enemy into a people united with Iran against the US.  And we wasted trillions of dollars.    

Iraq the country was 2/3 Shia and aligned with Iran, which was why Saddam had to be a murderous dictator. Iraq the government, and the Baghdad region were Suni and  opposed to Iran.

The analysis you are putting forward is ignoring the reality. 

The moment you took the top off the power structure of Iraq you see that it does not really hold together on any grounds. It was an artificial construct, it is unified only by external imposition and avarice of both sides for the oil riches produced there. Otherwise the area is unstable unless ruled by external empire and divided up into provinces and administrative cities. As it was under Ottoman or British or French rule. The alternative is division into 3 small countries, One of which may be in constant threat of Iranian takeover. The Kurdish remnant state up North would be a destabilizing issue from there up to Turkey.  

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